Saturday, July 18, 2015

Day Sailing with the Anzels - Great Beds Lighthouse

So today some old friends from college came to visit and brought two of their boys.  I was chatting with them on FB and messenger trying to decided what we would do for the day.  As they were starting to drive down from NJ, I was getting reports that the weather might start getting rough, so in the end we decided on a "three hour tour" - out to Great Bed's lighthouse and back (after a band of rain had passed).

But first, we badly needed to visit the dock and take on some water.  Birds have suddenly taken a liking to Seas The Day and she needed to be hosed down.  Bill got a great shot of her from the dock.

We then motored out of the mooring field and raised the sails.  The wind was relatively calm - 5 to 6 knots or so, but we made our way across the bay before turning west back towards Great Beds.

They had brought some sandwiches from Mike's Subs and we had a nice lunch on board, even if it was a tad cloudy.  And we got a chance to see the Cornucopia Princess out on a dinner cruise from Perth Amboy.

After we ate, we tacked... started to loose wind... and decided to pull in the sails.  While under power, I gave Nathan the helm until we got close to the lighthouse and all the confusing buoys around that area.  Of course, we had to have a photo op while nearing the light.

We had heard that the weather might get bad later in the day, so we then headed back to Keyport for drinks at KYC, and a nice dinner at Nemo's.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Refueling and Visiting with the Millers

So tomorrow I have a big excursion coming up with some friends from college and two of their sons, so I decided to add some fuel and otherwise make sure I'm ready.

With the new fuel cans, refueling is a single handed operation with only a drop or two (easily caught with an adsorbent pad) of diesel missing it's mark.  

After I finished dumping in some fuel and stabilizer, I got a call from the Millers and headed over to Fiddler's Green to meet up with them before heading to dinner.  Fiddler's Green is a slightly older Catalina 30-footer and they've been working hard on it to make it a home on the water for the family.

We then headed into town... (I had girlfriend for the launch ride).

We ended up at McDonagh's pub for some late supper.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Vessel Safety Check & Kid's Party

The US Coast Guard has the program they call the Vessel Safety Check (VSC).  With this, you can volunteer to have a Coast Guard Auxiliary member stop by your boat and go through all the safety checks they would do if they boarded you ("pulled you over") while on the water.  There are advantages to both the boat owners and the coast guard in doing it this way.  They can use their auxiliary force to do the VSCs and boat owners who pass get a sticker that goes on the boat.  The patrols out on the water know this boat has passed and will generally not bother you.  

Joe from nearby Hazlet was assigned to do my inspection (you can see a photo of him from last year here).  I had to wait a bit for him to arrive, so I used the time to finally mount my fire extinguishers and get all the items together.

One thing Joe has been helpful in suggesting is that I invest in the signal light and distress flag (upper left) so that I don't need to keep buying and recycling the flares (upper right) which can only officially be used for a few years even though evidence says they last much longer.

While I was waiting for Joe, I got bored so I put together a GoPro rig and decided to see what lies under the water in the Keyport mooring field...

Obviously, not much in terms of visibility.

So after the VSC, we caught a launch back to KYC...

Where I noticed that a tidal wave was about to hit the clubhouse...

It seems like the kid's party was on, so I found the Millers and chatted with them for a while watching their kids play with their cousin and try their hand at crabbing from the dock..

So even though I didn't leave the mooring field, it was still a great day on the water!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Who are you?

Good morning!   I was looking at the site stats, and there is one reader who is by far our biggest "fan". The site says they're from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and they have checked out the site at least once a week since this spring.  Feel free to introduce yourself...

Saturday, July 4, 2015

A Day out with Maggie and Stefan

Regular readers (both of you... one of whom is Vicky) might recall Maggie (Vicky's childhood friend) who joined us on our maiden voyage.  Perhaps due to the problems of being out that first time on Seas The Day, it took me a year to convince Maggie to give it another try.  Yesterday, she finally did and invited a former colleague, Stefan along for the adventure.

Since it was July 3rd, we originally planned to sail until sunset and then catch the local fireworks from the boat.  So we headed out a little after 4:00 PM. 

Soon we were passed by Affinity so I grabbed some photos for our friends...

It was a pleasant day and after we were sailing along at a nice pace, I gave the helm to Stefan.  We sailed around a bit and got to see some of the other traffic out on the bay.

(now that I think about it, that could have been a fireworks barge getting ready for July 4th)

We sailed out to the middle of the bay, then I practiced "heaving to" (a technique that puts the boat in a sort of rest state while saying).  Once successful, we set up the cockpit table and had a light dinner.

Although it was a perfect day of sailing, the sky was getting slightly cloudy and it was clear we wouldn't see a good sunset that day, so we tied up and caught a launch back into town, ending up at Nemo Asian Fusion for some sushi late in the evening.

On a side note, Maggie is the only person I have ever been willing to drive in Manhattan for... twice earlier this year to visit her in the hospital and last night to run Stefan home.  (I got to drive around Harlem & The West Side Highway before driving across the Brooklyn Bridge to drop Maggie off.)

Another Try at Singlehanding

Last week, I tried single handing again.

It was a nice day out on the bay.  Most of my work with the GoPro was time lapse so this time I wore the "head mount" and created one from my point of view.

(Again, go to YouTube if you want the HD version).

Yes... I do talk to myself (someone has to give the orders), and no, I don't think I'm really breathing that heavily - though it can be a bit of a workout on some trips.

Nothing fancy here... my sailing friends can see all my mistakes.  Between 7:00 and 9:30 you can see a few of our other boats coming back in.  At 10:15 or so you can see the mainsail start to get stuck going back in.  I've learned to let this work itself out (usually in a few min) rather than try and fight it (and on the next clip it goes right in).

It was a pleasant afternoon on the water.

Sailing in (slightly) Rougher Weather

I'm a little behind in my postings.

Two weeks ago (June 19/20), the weather was a bit "iffy", but I was itching to go sailing.  Friday night produced a great sunset (normally a predictor of good weather the following day -- "red at night..." etc. etc.)

So Saturday, John had off and we waited for the fog to lift, then headed down to the dock.  When we got there it was drizzling, and the wind was quite fresh (15-20 knots).  More importantly, there was some significant waves on the bay and the finger docks (where the launch picks us up) were moving up and down in response to those waves.

I looked at John and raised an eyebrow and he said something to the effect of "we gotta try it sometime", so despite the "rough" weather, we headed out.

Now I know there are some real sailors out there that will be laughing their a$$es off at my description of this as rough weather.  But for us it was a step up in intensity.

We got on board, prepared Seas The Day, swallowed hard, and threw off the mooring line.

It was by far our most intense ride.  Seas The Day heeled over a bit more than normal and we reached almost 7kts under mainsail alone.  The photo below was a quick grab with my iPhone while Otto took the helm.

We made it across the bay, even adjusted the sails some to get the heeling under control, but it was relatively windy and drizzling the whole time.  

I also tried a quick video to capture the sense of being out there...

In the end, we made it across, then motored back (to charge up the batteries), and of course, ended the sail at KYC for some cold ones.